At his site today, IT technology blogger Robert X. Cringely has a worthwhile post where he goes into what went wrong at Three Mile Island, and how to learn the right lessons from that. He concludes:
There is a place for nuclear power in our energy future. I say this not as a particular nuclear advocate but as a realist. The end of the Cold War has left us with a legacy of weapons grade nuclear materials that must be dealt with. Thanks to the 1950s we’re stuck with all the issues of storing this stuff no matter what Obama or any other U.S. President does. It just makes sense to me to take this stuff that used to be bombs and degrade it into something that can no longer make bombs but, oh by the way, can power millions of homes with no CO2 emissions. It seems like making lemonade to me. Yes, there are other renewable power sources that are even better than nuclear, but I seriously doubt whether they will add up to enough total watts in the time available. We’ll need all of them.
Just as we neglected the economy for the last decade or more, we have also neglected nuclear energy….
Life doesn’t get simpler, it gets more complex. [Three Mile Island] led us to repudiate nuclear power as a nation – something in the long run we probably can’t afford to do. We just have to find ways to manage technology – all technologies – more responsibly.